I've been on the Home Office website but am a bit confused about the changes to highly skilled migrant work permit. Now its a Tier 1 visa? What is the difference? Contractor Taxation Vocabulary: UK ImmigrationChange From HsmpHsmp NewsTier1Forums: Immigration 10340 reads The Tier 1 (General) Visa is The Tier 1 (General) Visa is very similar to the HSMP or Highly Skilled Migrant Permit. Except, of course, it's stricter! The main changes were: (1) a removal of Bachelors Degree qualifcations as scoring any points. If you haven't got degree qualifications equivalen to an MBA then you won't qualify for the new HSMP, no matter what your earnings rate and experience. (2) the English language requirement has been made more strict. (3) the maintenance requirements (savings/funds) have been made more strict. You can see whether you qualify through the Tier 1 General Visa Points Calculator Actually there have been significant changes again From April 2011 the Tier 1 (General) visa route has been closed by the UK Border Agency (Home Office). This means unless you are already in the UK on a Tier 1 visa you cannot apply. We recommend Tier 2 (General) as the best route for working in the UK at the moment, especially for contractors.